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Old 10-08-2010, 06:49 PM   #1
PCK_4xCustoms OP
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Back in the city :( Livonia MI
Oddometer: 269
Talking Manistee Ntl Forest in MI

Hello all,

Bare with me her as this is my first report and sadly to say I didn't take the time to capture any pics as I was having too much fun riding through the scenery.

I recently acquired a '95 XT350, got it plated, insured, and got my cycle endorsement pretty much all in the same month. My experience is minimal but mostly single track on an ancient '75 XL250. I got the yamaha for cheap and figured it would be a better ride for exploring the areas around town seeing as my truck gets under 15mpg on a good day and is a bit large for those snakey trails.

It seemed to be a chore to get friends to go out to the trails, and even more so for a ride on legal roads due to mine being the only streetable ride.

So, lone wolf it is.

Got out of class last Wednesday and realized it was perfect weather for anything that didn't include homework holed up in a library room. So I geared up, replaced my books with the hydro pack in my camelbak backpack, turned my oldschool Etrex on and rode west out of town straight into the Manistee National Forest which is spider webbed with seasonal county and fire roads.

The colors are almost in full swing and the sun was uninhibited by clouds, blazing the different shades ever where I looked as I started to get lost in the thickening woods.

I had been out there in my blazer a number of times and kind of knew my way around but the trip on a bike is so much easier and peaceful without a radio or windows in between you and the scenery.

There are a number of equine trails that share some of the same roads and also go off on their own so on occasion you may come across people riding single horsepower machines. For these people I would stop and shut the bike down as not to startle the horses (I've been on a startled horse, and no it isn't fun) and ended up talking to a couple who were out doing the same as I, just adventuring the area. Really nice people and they also provided me a map of the entire trail system for the area.

They were quite appreciative of me stopping and shutting down for them, as well as having a relatively quiet muffler and legal plates for the roads that are out there.
We went out separate ways and I continued to get lost (with my newly acquired map) and covered a few more miles of dirt 2 track, met a few other really nice people and saw some wonderful colors.

After about 4 hours and 40 miles (my longest trip so far) I decided I should head back in and be productive with my schoolwork. I did just that.

Maybe next time I'll stop for some photo ops, but it's a bit difficult by ones self. Its just so easy to get lost in the trip and forget to record it.

If anybody is in the Big Rapids, MI area and would like to join or share their back roads let me know, I'm always looking for someone to ride with.

Sorry for the long read, I like to talk sometimes

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Old 10-10-2010, 05:00 AM   #2
John Smallberries
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Northville, Michigan
Oddometer: 1,322
State single track

Have you ridden the excellent State-marked single track system in/around the Manistee National Forest? I rode my oversized 1200GS with my son (on a suitable Honda CRF230) on them for a few miles before accepting defeat. The combination of an unsuitable bike and my meager single-track skills had the makings for a leg-breaking accident.

Do you know if it is legal to ride the wonderful snowmobile trail system on a motorcycle? I've heard "yes" and "no" from various sources.

If the snowmobile trails are open game - this area would be an even better ride destination.
'05 BMW 1200GS '09 Honda CRF230 '10 Yamaha TW200 '07 KTM 400 XCW/EXC '15 Jialing 150 GY2
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:29 AM   #3
PCK_4xCustoms OP
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Back in the city :( Livonia MI
Oddometer: 269
Ive done the Evart single track, and Tin Cup in Baldwin, and yes an 1200GS will get you roughed up on both haha.

I'll see if I can get some info on the snow trails from the local PD/DNR
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